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8 eco-friendly fabrics and everything you need to know about them

They’re slightly pricier than your high street brands but as the saying goes - buy once and wear for a lifetime

Photo: Unsplash 

If you haven’t been keeping up with the happenings of the world, we’re apparently heading towards our impending…doom. Ok we might be exaggerating a little but with global temperatures rising and the rapid extinction of animals, it’s easy to think that you as one person might not make a sizable enough change to reverse what is happening.

But if you’re into shopping (and let’s face it, who isn’t), the simple practice of shopping sustainably isn’t difficult – you just need to top up just a little more cash for pieces that you’re not as likely to throw away after just a few wears because they’re hardier and less-trendy. And if you’re ever done with them, they can be recycled back into the earth.


1. Econyl

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Prada

Prada’s latest line of Nylon bags literally come from the sea – plastic waste from oceans, fishing nets and waste from textiles are all reworked into Econyl, a sustainable nylon that’s used to create the house’s iconic Nylon bag (you know, the famed ‘90s one that everybody carried). Prada aims to convert all of its virgin nylon into regenerated Econyl nylon by the end of 2021. And if you think the sustainability of repurposing waste ends there, 70,000 barrels of petroleum are saved whenever 10,000 tons of Econyl is produced and that’s a lot of petroleum that isn’t going into our oceans.

The Prada Econyl collection is now available in stores in six classic unisex styles: A belt bag, shoulder bag, tote, duffle and two backpacks.


2. Organic Bamboo

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Love Terie

The preferred dietary choice of the panda is also one of our preferred fabrics of choice for clothing. It’s grown au natural (no nasty fertilisers or chemicals) and it’s naturally anti-bacterial, breathes easily (aka humidity-friendly), and is biodegradable.

If you really want to get science-y about it, the cross-section of bamboo fibre contains micro-gaps that allows for ventilation which is why they’re only used on Singaporean label Love Terie’s sleepwear. Prices start at $39 for a bralette.


3. Tencel Lyocell

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Source Collections

Tencel lyocell isn’t harvested by the simple hack-and-slash of a forest that usually involves the displacement of the forest’s animal inhabitants. Instead, it’s harvested from certified and controlled sources which is why Singaporean label Source Collections produces its clothing only in the material. You can find the classic tee, muscle tank and long sleeved sweater from the brand.

The process of producing tencel lyocell isn’t shabby in the water saving department too – the water is constantly recycled to reprocess even more tencel lyocell. Prices start at $45 for a muscle tank from Source Collections.


4. Pima Cotton

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Grana

Pima Cotton is grown without the usual nasties you use when you grow non-organic cotton – fertilisers and pesticides that end up poisoning water sources. And besides telling everybody that your shirt isn’t just Pima Cotton and that it’s Peruvian Pima Cotton, each piece you buy from Hong Kong label Grana (and there are a lot of pima cotton pieces offered) is also bio-degradable, though we doubt you’d ever tire of wearing them. Prices start at $24 for a pima cotton tee.